Lip sores are often referred to as cold sores or fever blisters and are a result of the herpes simplex type 1 virus. There are two types of herpes simplex virus. The first is herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), which can cause cold sores on or around the mouth in most cases and around the upper lip/nose area if you pop them and the fluid reaches these areas, very painful! A person who has the second type of herpes virus (HSV2) may primarily experience genital herpes. Herpes simplex type 2 is a sexually transmitted disease that results in painful blisters in the genital area.
Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Explained
Herpes simplex virus type 1 is among the most common viruses known to medical science. It has been suggested that those susceptible to lip sores (cold sores) are likely experiencing a weakened immune system as a result of illness. These sores typically appear as fluid filled pustules in and around the lips and surrounding mouth tissue. The life of a lip sore (cold sore) ranges from 10 – 14 days. It should be noted that there is not a cure for cold sores but there is much that can be done to ease the discomfort of the condition while waiting for nature to take its course.
There are several treatment options available to cold sore sufferers including prescription medications and over the counter (OTC) topical treatments. Many people with cold sores seek natural treatments in order to avoid having to use prescriptive and over-the-counter drugs that may have unpleasant side effects.
Causes of Cold Sores
The cause of cold sores is a virus, called the herpes simplex virus. Perhaps you have already heard of herpes simplex and know it as genital herpes. Herpes Simplex has two virus strains and they are very different and occur in different parts of our bodies. The two types are the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2). The HSV1 is the virus that causes cold sores in our immune system.
Cole Sores Caused By A Virus?
Herpes simplex virus 1 spreads via skin contact. It penetrates our body through very small openings in our skin. These micro openings are usually caused by various cuts and scrapes we may have from time to time. Most of the time, we will not feel any pain because technically our skin is not wounded. The small breaks in our skin will be healed naturally by our body. The best thing we can do to prevent herpes simplex infection is by avoiding skin contact with people with active lesions of herpes simplex virus. Any liquid secreted from the infected cold sore can also infect us. Do not share your personal things such as lipstick, lip gloss, drinking glass, eating utensils, toothbrush, towels or razors with other people infected with the HSV 1 and choose wisely when you kiss someone. Research shows that most people are infected during their childhood, usually from their parents. If we got infected by herpes simplex virus, then it will be easy to spread to our family and friends, so you need to be extra careful when you have them to ensure you wash your hands immediately after touching your cold sore.
What Does HSV1 Mean For Cold Sore Sufferers?
There are approximately 80% of American people who are infected with herpes simplex virus. Although most of these people show no symptoms, the virus itself cannot be removed and stays in their body for the rest of their life. The cure for herpes simplex virus has not been found yet. Once we get infected, it will hide in our central nervous system and nerve cells in our skin, particularly the facial nerves. It can be awakened any time by any condition that makes our body weak and imbalanced. These conditions can be varied, including skin irritation or trauma, menstruation, fatigue, dental procedures, alcohol drinking, too much sun exposure, pregnancy, fever, any underlying disease that compromises immune function (such as diabetes), certain medication (such as steroids, usually for asthma therapy), and prolonged stress. After the virus is awakened, then cold sores begin to manifest in our body. Remember, currently there is still no way to medical cure the herpes simplex virus. There are, however, many things you can do to minimize the occurrence of cold sores or prevent them from ever happening again.